Extinction Rebellion activists staged a dramatic “die-in” outside the offices of some of the UK’s largest newspapers to demand they “tell the truth” and declare a “climate and ecological emergency”.
The group urged editors at the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard and The Independent to make the environment their “top editorial issue”.
Around 100 protesters laid down as if dead outside the entrance of Northcliffe House in Kensington, west London, on Friday.
It comes at the end of the group’s five-day “summer uprising” in five cities across the UK to demand faster action to tackle climate change.
Protesters posed next to skeletons reading copies of the Daily Mail held a banner with the message “Tell the Truth”.
Donnachadh McCarthy, one of the organisers of the protest, said newspapers have a duty to talk about climate change with “the level of urgency placed on informing the public about the Second World War”.
He also urged editors to ban articles and adverts that promote consumerism and a “high-carbon lifestyle”.
“We feel unless the media treats climate breakdown with the seriousness it deserves, our government and the public will not take the action necessary to tackle this existential threat to humanity,” he said. “We’ve got the government to successfully declare a climate emergency and now we want the media to tell the truth.
“Most of the media are climate sceptics. But even the papers that highlight the climate emergency are not doing enough. You can’t report on the crisis and then promote consumerism and a high-carbon lifestyle in adverts and the travel and fashion sections. We need to treat the crisis with the level of urgency placed on informing the public about the Second World War”.
Extinction Rebellion protester Jade Makepeace, 19, said: “I feel like the media puts Extinction Rebellion in the wrong light. They make it seem like we do this for a hobby. If we could do something else, we would gladly do it."
Another activist, Daze Aghaji, said: "The media has started making an attempt to report on the climate crisis, but it is still nowhere near where we need to be. We must show integrity in the face of the climate crisis, together we must tell the truth about this emergency now.”
Earlier this week, Extinction Rebellion protesters brought traffic to a standstill by parking coloured boats in the middle of roads in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Glasgow.
Six activists were arrested on Tuesday after the group disrupted London Concrete, the capital’s biggest supplier of ready-mixed concrete.
It comes after more than 1,000 Extinction Rebellion activists were arrested after an 11-day protest in London in April which brought major disruption to the capital.
Scotland Yard said it would not allow the group’s large-scale London protests planned for October.
But Extinction Rebellion said the matter would likely be “out of their hands, however hard they try to arrest us”.
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